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Will Insurance Cover a 20 Year-Old Roof? (Why & Why Not)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for maintaining and protecting your property. One essential part of your home is the roof, which plays a vital role in safeguarding your family and belongings from the elements. But what happens when your roof starts showing signs of wear and tear, or even reaches the 20-year mark? Will insurance cover the cost of replacing your aging roof?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of homeowner’s insurance, exploring:

  • What it will and won’t cover when it comes to your roof
  • The cost of replacing it on your own
  • How to file an insurance claim for a roof replacement

Get informed below so that you can get your roof the maintenance it needs!

What Homeowner’s Insurance Will and Won’t Cover

Homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you against unexpected events and disasters that can damage your home. When it comes to your roof, insurance policies typically cover certain perils, but not all. Here’s a breakdown of what homeowner’s insurance will and won’t cover regarding your roof:

Covered 👍

  • Storm Damage: Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage caused by severe weather conditions, such as windstorms, hailstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
  • Fire: If your roof sustains damage due to a fire, your insurance should cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Vandalism and Theft: In case your roof is damaged or stolen due to vandalism or theft, your insurance policy usually provides coverage.
  • Fallen Trees or Branches: If a tree or branch falls onto your roof and causes damage, homeowner’s insurance typically covers the cost of repairs.

Not Covered 👎

  • Normal Wear and Tear: Insurance won’t cover the natural aging process of your roof, including deterioration over time.
  • Neglect and Lack of Maintenance: If you neglect regular roof maintenance or fail to address minor issues that later lead to major damage, your insurance may deny your claim.
  • Flood Damage: Damage caused by flooding is generally not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance. You may need a separate flood insurance policy.
  • Earthquake Damage: Like flood damage, earthquake damage is usually excluded from standard policies. You may need a separate earthquake insurance policy.

The Average Lifespan of a Roof

Understanding the average lifespan of a roof is crucial when determining whether insurance will cover its replacement. Roofs are not built to last indefinitely, and their lifespan can vary depending on several factors:

  • Roofing Material: Different roofing materials have different lifespans. For example, asphalt shingles typically last 15 to 30 years, while metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years or more.
  • Climate: The climate in your region plays a significant role in your roof’s lifespan. Extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, snow, and intense heat, can shorten its longevity.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance can extend the life of your roof. Cleaning debris, repairing small issues promptly, and conducting annual inspections can help identify and address problems early.
  • Installation Quality: The quality of the initial installation is crucial. A poorly installed roof may not last as long as one installed by a reputable contractor.
  • Ventilation and Insulation: Proper ventilation and insulation in your attic can prevent moisture buildup and heat retention, which can help prolong your roof’s lifespan.
  • Sun Exposure: Roofs exposed to prolonged sunlight may deteriorate more quickly than those in shaded areas.

Considering these factors, it’s essential to monitor the condition of your roof as it nears its expected lifespan. If your roof is approaching 20 years old, it may be time to assess its condition and consider replacement.

The Cost of Replacing Your Roof on Your Own

Roof replacement is a significant investment, and the cost can vary widely depending on factors like the size of your home, roofing materials, and labor costs. If your insurance doesn’t cover the replacement of your 20-year-old roof, you’ll need to prepare financially for this project. Here’s a rough breakdown of the expenses involved in a roof replacement:

  • Roofing Materials: The cost of materials can vary based on your choice of roofing material. Asphalt shingles are generally more affordable than metal or slate.
  • Labor Costs: Labor costs will depend on the complexity of the job and your location. Hiring an experienced roofing contractor is crucial to ensuring the job is done correctly.
  • Removal of Old Roof: Removing the existing roof can add to the overall cost. Some roofing materials can be installed over the old roof, while others require a complete tear-off.
  • Roof Accessories: This includes items like underlayment, flashing, vents, and gutter systems. These are essential for ensuring your new roof functions properly.
  • Permits and Inspections: Depending on your location, you may need permits and inspections, which come with associated fees.
  • Contingency Fund: It’s wise to set aside a contingency fund for unexpected expenses that may arise during the project.

To get an accurate estimate for your specific situation, it’s best to consult with local roofing contractors and obtain multiple quotes. Keep in mind that investing in a high-quality roof replacement can increase your home’s value and provide peace of mind for years to come.

How to File an Insurance Claim for a Roof Replacement

If your roof sustains damage that is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, here are the steps to file a successful claim for a roof replacement:

Document the Damage 📸

As soon as you notice damage to your roof, document it with photographs or videos. Make sure to capture all affected areas.

Review Your Insurance Policy 📄

Familiarize yourself with your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what is covered and any deductibles or limits that apply to roof replacement.

Contact Your Insurance Company ☎️

Notify your insurance company of the damage as soon as possible. They will guide you through the claims process and provide you with the necessary forms to fill out.

Obtain Estimates 💲

You may need to obtain estimates from reputable roofing contractors. Your insurance company may have specific requirements regarding the estimation process.

Meet with Adjuster 🤝

Your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to inspect the damage and assess the cost of repairs or replacement.

Negotiate the Claim 🗣️

If the adjuster’s estimate is lower than the quotes you’ve received from contractors, be prepared to negotiate with your insurance company to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Start the Repairs or Replacement 🧰

Once your claim is approved, you can proceed with the roof repairs or replacement. Make sure to work with a licensed and insured roofing contractor.

Keep Records 📁

Throughout the process, keep detailed records of all communication with your insurance company, contractors, and receipts for expenses related to the roof replacement.

Final Inspection 👷🏼‍♂️

After the repairs or replacement are complete, your insurance company may conduct a final inspection to ensure the work meets their standards.

Get a Free Roof Inspection

Homeowner’s insurance can cover the replacement cost of your 20-year-old roof under certain circumstances, such as damage from storms, fires, vandalism, or falling trees. However, insurance typically won’t cover normal wear and tear or neglect. If insurance doesn’t cover the cost, be prepared to budget for the expense of replacing your roof, and remember to follow the necessary steps for filing an insurance claim if your roof does sustain covered damage.

Curious about the state of your roof? Contact Whitt’s Quality Roofing today to set up your free roof inspection! 

Leroy Whitt

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